Attending an international conference is an excellent way to create meaningful connections with other industry professionals, learn about new advancements in your field, and is a great way to experience new destinations like Toronto.
The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) proudly hosts a number of international conferences every year, and many of us who work here agree there is something magical about global experts converging here to share their ideas and ground-breaking announcements. Members of our experienced Sales team have attended conferences all around the globe and have shared their tips and experiences with me. Here are a few tips that would help any attendee reach ‘expert-level’ attendee status.
Network at Your Best
Although some of us would rather fade into the background than “mix and mingle,” remember that networking at an international conference is important for your career and your organization. When choosing your sessions, consider what you can learn and who you can meet. Some social events may not seem intellectually motivating; however, who you can meet can make it worthwhile to attend.
*Networking Tip: Write a quick statement about the person you’ve met on their business card or in your notes for when it’s time to follow up post-conference.
Do your Research
Many conference apps will have the pictures and names of attendees and speakers available for review. This is a great way to identify in advance who could be an important connection and who you may have something in common with. The ambitious networkers may meet with attendees of interest pre-conference to establish a connection beforehand. As well, don’t forget to research the city – it could be useful for breaking the ice.
*Research tip: Research in advance the exhibitors attending the conference and write down two questions that would be appropriate to ask the ones you plan on meeting.
Get out of your comfort zone
Spending all your time with people you see every day may seem like the comfortable thing to do, but it can stifle important networking and learning opportunities. Agree with colleagues beforehand on boundaries for interaction at the conference and stick to them.
Don’t Overdo It
Enjoy the city and reserve time to rest and relax. This will allow you to be energized and on top of your game at sessions and events.